Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1958 – GUION’S MID-WINTER FLOWER SHOW

ADG - 1958 Christmas Card - Flower Show - cover

ADG - 1958 Christmas Card - Flower Show - pg. 1

Timely Mesage From

The Old Gardener . . . . . . . . . . .

We are issuing our Christmas Bulletin early this year in order to get the combined force of a Thanksgiving and Christmas good-will message.

After all, Christmas and what it stands for is surely a cause for Thanksgiving; and from a practical standpoint relieving Uncle Sam’s couriers of a small part of their holiday rush (and one’s friends of a surfeit of cards arriving at the very busiest time of the year), it is itself a gesture of good-will – – or at least we hope you will so regarded, because as always, an overflowing measure of good wishes is what we have been trying to convey in this our 1958 holiday season greeting.

PS – Incidentally, the flower pictures were drawn by our young “budding” artists.

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this favorite group of popular perennials, all members of the Alfredo-Mariana ( my parents – Alfred (Lad) and Marian)family, consists of six varieties, each one different. Colorful and easily raised, they thrive best when not transplanted to frequently. Partly indigenous to California (Mom was raised there), the tall variety grows especially well in “truck” (reference to my father being a construction equipment mechanic) garden. One variety prefers warm climates (Marian grew up in California), the other thrives best in cold weather (Lad).  Twin buds (my brother and I) frequently develop into entirely different blossoms. This is one of our prize plant groups.

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This choice variety has been developed from two main groups in the Paulette-Danneo combination of popular strains. One imported favorite is an offshoot of the noted French Lily f)amily which quickly adapts itself to changing locations. (Dan met and married Paulette in France during the war. The other branch frequently associated with foundation plantings. (Dan loves to work outside in the gardens.) Both are great nursery favorites. (Reference to the fact that Dan and Paulette have five children.)

The smaller members of this attractive group are easy to grow. Despite the delicate appearance these tiny very flowers are among the world’s heartiest.. They will bloom for years with minimal care – – a constant delight for you and your friends. Be sure to see them when you visit our garden.ADG - 1958 Christmas Card - Flower Show - pg. 4

FLOWER SHOWS like this reach fullest beauty and fragrance only as they blossom in the mind of the beholder. We can invite you to our main gardens in Conn., Or to our winter quarters in Naples, Florida, but deep back of it all lies the fruit you yourself must find in this Season’s Greeting from an old well-wisher.

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This is one of the newer and promising additions to our selected line. For many years the largest growing member of this group – – the well-known bachelor button – – was found frequently growing high above the frost line, flourishing well in Alaskan climate. Ced remained a bachelor and lived in Alaska for over 6 years.) Another a variety flourishes near highways (pikes to you) (Ced married Fannie Pike) . A miniature offshoot is often designated as a night Bloomer. (They have a son who is a year old) Holds promise of increasing popularity as a home favorite.

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This hardy group blossoms the year-round and thrives with frequent transplanting. Among the five color assortments comprising this group, some prefer sunshine to shade (Biss), others flourish best near shady trout streams and woods (Zeke). They bring color and loveliness to any home. They are frequently found growing near a variety of dogwood with thin bark, sometimes identified by the code name-Spooks. (Their dog.)

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Habitat, northern New England. Found most plentifully near lakes They live 15 minutes from our Island on Lake Winnipesaukee.). Grow tall and thin on graceful stems. (Wife Jean and both daughters are tall and thin.) Largely self-supporting, especially when transplanted to southern climes. One of the prize offshoots from the famous Mortensen (Jean’s maiden name) family of beauties. Round eyed Susan  is one of the well-known varieties. Two attractive miniature flowers in this group bloom indoors in every room of the house all winter long. Every lovely flower is a true and perfect specimen, exquisitely dainty and colorful – – not to be confused with ordinary run of seedlings advertised for $.12-$.15 each.

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Here is the latest achievement in the development of grafting technique in starting an entirely new strain – – a venture we are watching with considerable interest and anticipation (Dave and Ellie have adopted a son) At present at the prospect of a high measure of success is highly encouraging, in an environment combining background of careful Dutch cultivation (Ellie’s ancestry) and large plant tendencies associated with the well-known Bullardinia and Remingtonius stock, (Dave has worked at Remington-Rand plant in Bridgeport.) this young addition to our growing family of potential prizewinners is off to an auspicious start.

I’ll finish out the week with more of Grandpa’s Christmas cards.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 200 Years in Trumbull

This Christmas card contains quite a bit of history, both of Trumbull and the family Homestead of the Guion’s.  This house remains in the family to this day. 

ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - 200 Christmases in Trumbull


ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - inside

The present home of the Guion’s in Trumbull commemorates its 200th anniversary in this year of 1956.

The ancient deed, dated 1758, mentioning “dwelling house and barn” and reproduced on the front of this card, was obtained from old town records with the patient help of Stratford’s eminent local historian, Mr. William H Wilcoxson.

Further evidence of the age of our old home is supplied by the discovery of a hand-hewn chestnut log in the main fireplace which bears the inscription of initials and the date, “1776”.

This house, then, appears to have been built 20 years before the revolution. What momentous changes this comfortable old house has witnessed with its 200 passing Christmases. What is now Trumbull, in 1756, was North Stratford. The French and Indian War was giving grave concern. George Washington was a young man of 24. The house was 17 years old at the time of the Boston Tea Party, and 21 Christmases had passed when the American army found itself encamped at Valley Forge. It was 32 when Washington was inaugurated, and 41 when Trumbull held its first town meeting. The national capitol was burned and raided during the 58th year of existance of what is now the Guion home. 109 winters had passed at the time of Abe Lincoln’s assassination. When the first ship passed through the Panama Canal, this place had been giving shelter for 158 years.

In 1922, when these walls had been standing for 166 years, the Guion clan gathered around the hearthstone for their first Christmas in Trumbull. Roads were unpaved. There was no city water or electricity. The children walked each day to a 3-room rural school, each room heated by a wood-burning stove.

By neighborhood standards, the house had quite modern conveniences. In addition to a de-luxe two-seater “Chic Sale” in the back yard, there was a complete bathroom upstairs and a watercloset downstairs. The house was unique in that it had electrical wiring powered by a generator and a series of batteries in the barn. They were, however, inoperative so that lighting was furnished by the usual candles and kerosene lamps. Drinking water was supplied by two shallow wells, and domestic water from the Pequonnock River, and pumped to a large tank in the cellar.

And so, looking back through the nostalgic vista of 34 Christmas seasons in Trumbull, we renew our traditional greeting to you, of peace, friendship and goodwill.

ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - Back - 30 yr. old card

This 30-year-old Christmas card is based on the legend of the flight to Trumbull on horseback in 1779 of Mrs. Mary Silliman, who “from a home on Daniels Farm Road near the present center of Trumbull” watched the burning of Fairfield by the British. The “home” later was identified as the Elikiam Beach homestead adjoining the present Guion home.

For the rest of the week I’ll be posting more of Grandpa’s personal and unique Christmas cards.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1954 – PASSPORT

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Emerging from Europe’s Dark Ages, Charlemagne’s death marked the emergence of the French and German nations. Here, at first, petty principalities for self-defense against marauding Norsemen, Huns, Tartars and other barbarous hordes, were headed by Duke, count, Bishop or Baron.

One such was an ancestor, Jean Guyon, created Baron in 1289, who from his big stone castle erected on top of Roche-Guyon, still overlooks the surrounding country through which the stately Seine winds its way northwest of Paris to the sea.

From this vantage point these early overlords kept a watchful eye over their subjects, protecting them from armed robber bands and acting as chief of police, judge, patron of church and monastery, and generally maintaining peace and order throughout their small domain.


As the centuries rolled by there gradually developed in Western Europe and ever growing battle between Church and State with the “common people” in between, exploited by both.

In France, a bitter feud  between the Catholic and Protestant (Huguenot) made matters worse. There were endless massacres, torturing’s and burnings at the stake. The Huguenots were a powerful minority and had their share of rich nobles. One, Henry of Navarre, King of France, strove for peace but in the late 1600’s things became so unbearable that groups of Huguenots from time to time were forced to seek refuge in other countries.

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Long a thorn in the side of the Church of Rome, this city had for some years been the home of the Guion family. Lewis, our ancestor, had been born and brought up there. He was evidently a man of some means; his title, Ecuyer, (Squire) denotes land ownership.

Acting on a tip that government agents were after him, he and his family hastily sailed from La Rochelle to seek refuge first in England and later in the New World.

It was a near thing. As old Lewis told it, “they left the fire burning on the stove and the pot boiling on the fire.”


Huguenot Street, New Rochelle

It was around New Years Day, 1687, that a shipload of Huguenots reached New York. In the spring of that year, they bought land from the Dutch and founded “New Rochelle”. The son, Lewis Guion, built the family house there in 1696 – – a “one and a half storey cottage with dormer windows, made of hand-axed oak beams and stone-filled walls”, still standing, I am told.

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famous old hostelry once standing in Eastchester, N. Y.

Charles Guion operated the in during the Revolutionary period. The famous election of 1733, known in history as “The Great Election”, marks a highlight in the life of Guion’s Tavern, for the debates and discussions held there did much to solidify the spirit of the people to resist all forms of tyranny and oppression.

Tradition has it that George Washington spent three days at the Inn when he was ill, and upon leaving, he rewarded the wife of the proprietor with a kiss for the excellent care she had given him. And legend further says that the wife of the proprietor never after washed the spot which his lips had touched.


In 1776, John (fourth of the American Guions) now 52 years old, was living quietly on his Westchester County farm with his wife and 11 children. His 10th son, Elijah, my great grandfather, was aged five.

The homestead lay between the British and colonial lines. One day the redcoats raided. They caught the elderly man in his farmhouse, beat him severely while wife and children stood helplessly by, stripped the farm and left him for dead. He never fully recovered. In 1798, at the age of 28, Elijah married 19-year-old Elizabeth Marshall and in 1802 the family moved to New York City. Here in 1809 my grandfather was born. He studied for the ministry, and visiting New Orleans, fell in love and married the talented Cuban-born Clara Maria de los Dolores de Beck. His original pastorate was at Glenville, Conn., and during the Civil War at New Orleans.

Here in 1853 my father was born. Coming north in his youth he married and settled in Mount Vernon where I was brought up, only a short distance from the spot the first Guion had chosen for his home 200 years before.

ADG - 1954 Christmas Card - Passport - Back cover

For the rest of the week, I’l be posting more of Grandpa’s unique Christmas Cards, sent to family and friends, near and far.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1953 – Guion’s 1953 Almanac


Grandpa, being in the advertising business, used his very creative skills to produce a unique and personal Christmas card for many years.

This is the only copy of this Christmas Card I could find. It is my Mother’s (Marian’s) and she has added the birth dates of her family members also, so it isn’t quite like the original. This includes all the birth dates and wedding dates of all the members of Grandpa’s family in 1953.

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ADG - 1953 Christmas Card - Jan-April

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The first WANTED advertisement references Dan, a gardener extraordinaire,  and his wife Paulette, who has quite a touch with Interior Designing.

Radio and TV for rent is ac reference to Biss and her husband, Zeke, who loves watching baseball on TV. Their house is in Huntington.

Apartment for Rent in Pasadena is self explanatory. Aunt Elsie wants to come – or has come – back east.

I don’t know the reference about the pant’s except that it may refer to Ced’s extremely long legs… the advertiser could possibly have been Ced’s Specialty Shop..

Don Stanley, a favorite cousin, who spent quite a bit of time in Trumbull, may be a great cook. I just don’t know.

Dealers in Marine Supplies…Auto repairs and inventions handled as a side line – refers to my Dad’s (Lad’s) involvement with the Power Squadron and boating in general, and the obvious reference to his mechanical abilities, especially in automotive engines.

FOR SALE – Farm in Holderness (NH) is a reference to Dick, his wife Jean and their two daughters. Their property was out in the country along a dirt road, with lots of wildlife.

Course in Dieting may have been intended as a joke, but Marian was always plump – Lad liked her that way – and Ellie, Dave’s wife, was quite often on a diet. It may have been Grandpa’s attempt to include every one of the adults.

The final message is Grandpa’s personal best wishes for everyone who received his always popular Christmas Card.

For the rest of the week I’ll be posting additional Christmas Cards from Grandpa. Enjoy this look back into the unique creativity that was his.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1953

Grandpa, being in the advertising business, used his very creative skills to produce a unique and personal Christmas card for many years.

I don’t know why there are two Christmas Cards that were dated 1953. It may be that one was for business associates and the other for personal friends, I’m not sure. 

ADG - 1953 Quit Claim Christmas Card - front

ADG - Quit Claim Christmas Card - page 1

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ADG - 1953 Quit Clain Christmas Card - page 3

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ADG - 1953 Quit Claim Christmas Card - back

Tomorrow, more of the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, I’ll continue the story of the Rev. Elijah Guion and his Wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1947

Until Christmas Day I’ll be posting various Christmas cards that Grandpa sent to his friends near and far.. On Saturdays, I’ll continue to post the Yoyage to California by John Jackson Lewis, and on Sunday, I’ll continue with My Ancestors.

ADG - 1947 Christmas card - color

This is a composite photo of Grandpa’s entire family in 1947.

Top left is Ced (Cedric Duryee Guion)

Top right – Elizabeth (Bissie) (Guion) Zabel, Raymond Zabel Sr., below them – Butch  and Marty,

Middle left – Paulette holding Arla, Dan holding Cedric, Arla below them,

Middle Right –  Jean (Mortenson)  and Richard Guion,

Bottom Left – Marian (Irwin), Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion), below them, Doug, Judy and Greg,

Bottom Right – Eleanor (Kintop) and David Peabody Guion,

Bottom Center – Grandpa at his typewriter.

The message reads on the Left – The GUION “Family Tree”, Christmas, 1947, Trumbull, Conn.

The message on the right reads: From the “old root” himself up thru all the  branches, out to the newest, tiniest twigs, warmest greetings !